face their own personal obstacles due to people challenging their
authority or methods of coaching.
Ron Clark’s first order of business in his classroom is setting
basic ground rules. Clark starts with four core rules: 1) We are family,
2) We respect each other, 3) We Will form a line when going in and out
of the classroom, and 4) No smacking of the lips or rolling of the eyes;
however, because of his unwillingness to give up on his rules, and his
students unwillingness to follow them, he eventually expands that list
to fifty-five (Dovico 5). By giving his students basic ground rules right
off of the bat, Clark sets his students up for success by giving them
structure, discipline, and a blueprint for how to succeed in his classroom
from day one. In both films I examined, the coaches do the exact same
thing for their players. In Coach Carter, on the first day of practice, coach
Carter tells his players that they are never to be late to an appointment,
they are to call people sir, they may never use the “n” word, they must
wear a suit and tie, they must attend every class and sit in the front row,
and finally, they must maintain at least a 2.3 GPA, which is .3 higher
than what the principal and school board typically required of players
before Carter got to the school. Additionally, Carter makes his players
sign a contract agreeing to all of his terms. Carter’s rules are similar to
those of Clark as he demands respect from his players not only towards
him but towards others as well, and also instills a sense of structure and
discipline into his players’ lives. In Remember the Titans, Coach Boone
lays out similar sounding rules as he tells his team that the best player
will play no matter what color their skin is, being anything but early to
an appointment will never be accepted, and that they must wear a coat
and tie on game day—no excuses. The idea of instilling respect,
structure, and discipline into these young students and players is
definitely a shared theme in the teaching and coaching strategies of Ron
Clark and these coaches.
One of the primary things that earns Ron Clark the title “good
teacher” is his ability to connect with his students on a personal level
and build relationships with them. First of all, Clark’s first two rules that
he gives his students are centered on themes of family and respect. By
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